There was a time as a young boy when I thought wearing an eye patch would be cool. Eye patches, I thought, provided an aura of mystery around the wearer. Why did they have the eye patch? What exactly is it covering?
Of course, now I think they look horribly uncomfortable, and I really appreciate the depth perception that two eyes gives me. I’m not about to start wearing any pirate themed outfits to work.
But I do have a physical defect that gives me a similar mysterious vibe. I have a missing toenail.
Okay, so maybe missing toenails don’t provide the same mystery that eye patches have, especially since I have to take off my shoes and point out to people that my toenail is missing. I did this at a family gathering recently, nearby the food table. Needless to say, my family members were not as impressed as I thought they could be.
My missing toenail came as a result of moving an old coffee table out of our shed while I was barefoot. I slid it right into my toenail, and it snapped in half. I bandaged it up, and a week or so later it looked like the broken half had reattached. But another week after that the whole darn thing fell off.
The funny thing about it was that Preston, my fellow writer here at The Press, also lost a toenail. He lost his just a few days after mine because he wore a too-tight cleat while playing softball. I offered to start a club of those with missing toenails, but he declined my offer. I guess the aura of mystery such a club might offer was too much for him.
I don’t mind missing that toenail. It was a weird toenail. Like Preston’s toenail, this toenail had been rubbed thin by too-tight athletic shoes I wore many years ago. But it didn’t come off because of the shoes. Instead it became thicker and bumpier than average. If my toenails were to all go to a dinner party, that one would have not been invited. If my toenails were the Fantastic Four, er, Fantastic Ten, that toenail would be the one that was made out of a rock.
I wasn’t too sad to see it go. It’s a about halfway grown back now. Let’s hope that it’s a better, stronger toenail this time around.
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